The First Lady, Mrs. Rebecca Akufo-Addo, has commissioned the premier report on the rising cancer scourge in West Africa.
The report, which highlights cancer causes and recommendations to thread down the spiralling statistics, was undertaken by the Lancet oncology commission.
The First Lady associated herself with the call by various speakers at the event, including the health minister, Kwaku Agyemang Manu, that cancers had debilitating effects on productivity and families, the basic unit of life and needed to be rolled back.
The report said cancer deaths in the sub-region could double, hitting one million deaths annually in the sub-region by 2030 if urgent action is not taken.
The report further warned cancer incidence would jump to 1.4 million cases per year, without rapid interventions.
It further highlighted that one in seven women risked developing cancer by the age of 75, with cervical cancer and breast cancer, leading the cause of cancer deaths.
According to the report, by 2050, half of global childhood cancer cases are projected to occur in Africa, and called for improvement in access to cancer care, prevention, diagnostics and national action plans to contain the spread.
The commission, comprising academia and health care experts, enumerated factors fuelling cancer spread in the sub-region including crunch poverty, lack of access to health facilities, scarcity of qualified staff and the increasing adoption of western lifestyles.
Dr. Beatrice Wiafe Addai, one of the four lead commissioners of the report, emphasized the combined effect of poverty and ignorance on the wave of cancers locally.
Three other lead commissioners of the report, Professor David Collingride, editor-in-chief of the Lancet oncology, Professor David Kerr, cancer medicine, oxford university, and Professor Wil Ngwa, Director, global health catalyst, John Hopkins, agreed national control programs and innovative technologies were vital to reducing the cancer burden in the sub-region.